For as much as we've learned about Independent Baptists and the Institute of Basic Life Principles from watching the Duggars on TLC, there's still so much about the family's religious views we have yet to find out. For example, we've seen the courting process the Duggar daughters have to follow, but the protocol for the Duggars' sons remains a mystery, as one reddit user pointed out.
"We know that Jim Bob has a 'questionnaire' for guys who want to court his daughters, but what do you think he does for his sons?" user eastcoastredhead asked. "Is there a 'girl version' of the questionnaire, or is there some other way that a young fundie lady can prove that she is godly enough to be a Duggar?"
That one question set off a huge discussion in the Reddit post's comments section. And it's clear these Counting On viewers are giving serious side-eye to the Duggars.
"Nope. The boys get to just trust their own spiritual spidey sense that this is the right one for them," replied reddit user sylviaplathological, sardonically adding, "It's only the spiritually wimpy ladyfolk who need to be shielded from their own womanly limitations."
User jennyrocks concurred, "The guys in their cult have all the power, so once one of the sons has found it in his heart that he's ready to start a new season of life and court, there are likely no stipulations. Doubt that any of the guys would pick someone who wouldn't fulfill the Duggar name, unless they were entirely self-sufficient and independent from the fam."
The courting process has always been a sticking point for less-conservative fans. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar make sure their daughters date suitors in the presence of a chaperone, for example, and they also monitor the teens' texts.
And though these Duggar parents try to rationalize that behavior — saying things like, "[Chaperones are] the accountability," and, "It's neat to see their conversations," — one ex-follower of the family's religion said the courting process actually caused a lot of problems down the road.
"I signed a contract with my dad about not courting or marrying anyone that he did not approve of when I was 13," this ex-follower told In Touch. "The damage of this is huge. It causes a lot of shame, even if all you've done is think a guy is cute without your dad's approval."
Yikes. Let's hope the Duggar kids don't experience that damage… though it sounds like the girls of the family might be more at risk than the boys.